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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was peterborough.

Last in Parliament November 2005, as Liberal MP for Peterborough (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2004, with 44% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions November 28th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I have one more petition to present today from supplied managed farmers in my constituency.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to put all poultry, dairy and egg product tariff lines in the sensitive products category at the WTO negotiations.

Petitions November 28th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from more than 300 students at Trent University who come from all over Ontario.

The petitioners draw the attention of the House to the fact that as a result of the funding cuts of the 1990s, over 1.7 million Canadians are at risk of becoming homeless.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to double the commitment to housing programs by restoring and renewing housing spending.

Petitions November 28th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition signed by 148 members of St. Anne's Women's Group in Peterborough. They point out that Bill C-2 did not change the age of consent. The age remains at 14 years, yet 14 to 17 year olds do not have the maturity to recognize exploitive relationships.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to protect children rather than adults by moving swiftly to change the age of consent.

Petitions November 28th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition from people in Peterborough who are concerned about kidney disease.

The petitioners know that real progress is being made in various ways of preventing and coping with kidney disease, in particular, the development of a bioartificial kidney.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to make research funding available to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for the explicit purpose of conducting bioartificial kidney research as an extension of research being conducted in the United States.

I thank Ken Sharp of Peterborough for his fine work on these petitions.

Kawartha Participation Projects November 28th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, Kawartha Participation Projects provides housing and support to people with disabilities in Haliburton, Northumberland, Kawartha Lakes and Peterborough. It is dedicated to enabling people with physical disabilities to live as independently as they choose.

KPP believes that every person is unique, has his or her own distinct values and goals and the right to life, support, a home, respect and dignity. It has houses, geared to income units and apartments. It provides outreach services to adults in their own homes throughout the region.

The volunteers and staff of KPP and the KPP Foundation deserve our respect, support and thanks. They make our community richer by enriching the lives of persons with disabilities and their families.

Petitions November 23rd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I rise to present the most recent of many petitions signed by thousands of people who deplore the delay in the animal cruelty legislation.

The petitioners believe that the delaying tactics of the Conservatives has been a great disservice for animals, animal lovers and groups such as farmers. The petitioners want the legislation passed soon. The petitioners point out that there have been several highly publicized examples of deliberate cruelty to animals and that this affects the work people such as veterinarians.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to expedite the process of enacting Bill C-50 to law and ask all members to exercise good conscience in so doing.

Canada Labour Code November 22nd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, we already know that the vast majority of Canadians who care for seriously ill people are currently covered by this program, but we are sensitive to the fact that certain individuals do not qualify for it. The government, as I said, is looking into expanding the definition of those who are able to qualify for the benefit.

I have to point out there have been no funding cuts to the program. EI expenditures are determined entirely by the number of qualified applicants.

My colleague opposite already knows that regulatory changes take effect the day they come into force. While the government sympathizes, and so do I, with those who cannot access the benefit due to their individual situations, the benefits cannot be applied retroactively.

Canada Labour Code November 22nd, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to respond to my colleague. I again welcome the fact that he has asked for an adjournment debate on the question of the compassionate care benefit. The government is committed to helping ensure that Canadian workers do not have to choose between their jobs and providing care for a dying family member.

Let me remind members that Canada's compassionate care benefit was introduced as recently as January 4, 2004. It was designed specifically to provide temporary income replacement for those Canadians who need to leave their jobs for a period of time in order to care for a gravely ill child, parent or spouse who is at significant risk of dying.

I would emphasize that Canada is one of the few countries in the world to offer compassionate care benefits to workers. Unlike Canada, most countries that do have compassionate care programs restrict them to parents caring for sick children.

The design of this benefit was based on research and analysis indicating that family members are key caregivers and, in particular, that the vast majority of Canadians facing these situations are caring for a child, a parent or a spouse.

The Canada Labour Code was amended to provide the necessary job protection for compassionate care benefit claimants, up to eight weeks, which allows for the two week waiting period under EI and six weeks of paid benefits. The six weeks of benefits can be shared among eligible family members or can be taken by one eligible family member. This gives families more choice in providing care to gravely ill relatives.

A full evaluation, part of the government's commitment to reviewing the provisions of the benefit after its first year of availability, is under way. I have to point out to my colleague that good public policy requires that. If we are going to make changes, we have to make them based on the benefit of real experience. We now have one year of real experience.

This evaluation of the program, with results expected soon, will provide a better understanding of the benefit's performance and identify possible areas for improvement that might increase access to the benefit. It is important that evaluations of government programs be founded on careful analysis of program data in order that the conclusions drawn and solutions proposed address the experience of clients.

Recently a policy review was undertaken to identify early opportunities to improve the benefit within existing policy parameters. Based on experience gained in the first year of the program, the government is already looking into expanding the definition of those who qualify for the benefit.

I should also point out that the benefit is only one tool for supporting caregivers. We must be sensitive to the fact that some individuals look elsewhere for the means of helping sick relatives. We are exploring a wide variety of comprehensive caregiving strategies.

This government is committed to the principles of fairness and equity for all Canadians. Accordingly, making improvements to the compassionate care benefit in a timely manner is a priority for us, as I know it is for my colleague opposite. I would like to thank him again for his work on this issue.

Interparliamentary Delegations November 16th, 2005

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian delegation of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association respecting its participation in the Standing Committee of Parliamentarians on the Arctic Region, held in Oslo, Norway, September 29 and 30.

These meetings dealt with topics like the University of the Arctic, indigenous peoples of the north, including Canada's settlements with the Inuit, Arctic climate change, oil and gas in the Arctic, the international polar year, the dismantling of nuclear submarines in the Arctic Ocean and Arctic sovereignty.

Criminal Code November 14th, 2005

Madam Speaker, my colleague does not realize that things die on the order paper in Parliament, particularly if they go to the other place.

Every common law protection that farmers have today still exist and there will be no change to them. This would be a change with respect to penalties in particular and the definition with respect to intentional cruelty. Farm practices and hunting practices would be protected. Deliberate cruelty to animals would not be protected.

I believe my colleague is doing farmers an enormous disservice. These five years of debate using farm examples have done the farming community a great disservice with respect to the consumer. The consumer thinks that farmers, who are represented by the people over there, are somehow in favour of animal cruelty, which is not the case. That party has done the farming community an enormous disservice.

The member mentioned human cruelty. I would like to point out that the link between deliberate cruelty to animals and family violence has been demonstrated time and time again and is well represented in psychology and psychiatric tests.

A very interesting link that has been well demonstrated is the link between demonstrated behaviour with respect to deliberate cruelty to animals and serial killing. I did not raise this matter, the member raised it. This is not my prime reason for being in favour of this legislation. If somebody deliberately mutilates a cow or a puppy, that person should not only get the full penalty of the law but the person should register with the law with respect to potential serious human cruelty offences in the person's home and on our streets.

A motion to adjourn the House under Standing Order 38 deemed to have been moved.